After buying the ‘Bolt Action Stalingrad Campaign Book’, I immediately knew that I wanted to build a new army around the theme of Stalingrad, but something that would also be a bit different from the usual Soviet Armies you see on the table top.
“No Land Beyond The Volga!” – Cherenkov’s Defenders.
“During the battle for Stalingrad, countless number of Soviet lives from all corners of the Soviet Union made their way to defend the mother land at this pivotal point. Stalingrad wasn’t just a city, its a city that bared the name of the boss. The city simply could not be lost.
As the dust begins to settle and the smoke of the German bombs began to clear, a battle hardened Soviet Naval vessel, daringly made its way up the Volga River in an aid to get supplies to those who needed it most. For any fighting comrades still standing, this would certainly be the lifeline they needed to hold out for nights to come.
Seeing the utter destruction and desperation for himself, that Vladislav Cherenkov, A First Senior Naval Lieutenant of the Red Army, overruled the makeshift defence force and took charge of the western bank. By fighting side by side with his loyal naval warriors and those fighting on land, the German invaders would soon realise that Stalingrad would not be so easily broken.
Roping together any able bodied survivors dotted around the city, fortifying defensive positions and tending to the wounded, Vladislav quickly gave the people a new sense of hope. By re-creating battle hardened fighting units of warriors, artillery teams and assault engineers to hold the front lines. Vladislav tend his attention to the deadly Soviet Union sniper teams to take up crucial positions across the city, picking off any officer and captains that crossed the site of them in a bid to put fear into the ranks of the enemy by breaking the German morale.
Within a days of Vladislav’s arrival, the nearly broken and once almost lifeless defenders were blessing the gifts of the sea for returning the tide back to the Red Army. With their new orders, comrades once again readied themselves, dug in their positions and waited for their orders to defend their beloved city once again. No matter the cost.”
The Designer Notes:
When I first collected Bolt Action around 4 years ago, I based my collection and army around one of my favourite WW2 films of all time… ‘Enemy At The Gates‘. The stunning visuals and story line throughout the film instantly captured my creativity and imagination, long before I heard of a WW2 miniature war game called Bolt Action. Here on in, I was sold, a Soviet Union army based loosely around anything Stalingrad was “my go to” theme for this game. But, now that we have a new supplement of the Stalingrad Campaign book, this means that I can go back and re-visit my old army, my old lists and let my imagination run wild again, with a more themed approach to building out my version of Stalingrad for Bolt Action.
One thing I love about collecting armies, especially ones based around time lines, is the option it gives you as a collector to go that little extra mile with creating a backstory and narrative for the army you’re about to start creating. In the new Stalingrad Campaign book for Bolt Action by Warlord Games, gifted us with several theatre selection lists which allows you to take certain units to better suit the time period your basing your army list on, all whilst being a little more historically accurate then potentially previous options in the game. (For me at least!) So, why not take this one step further and create your very own unique story / fluff to go with your army? That’s what I thought anyway!
Personally, I find that by creating some sort of theme / backstory to my armies, helps me during the design and painting process as I’ve already spent the time creating a clear foundation of what it is I’m looking to achieve. One thing I always try and do is to spend a little time on working out ideas for the basing of my miniatures as well. Not only will the basing make the army look very coherent across the entire army, but it will also help the painted miniatures stand out more on the table top. Achieving a good overall balance of these two factors can really make your models stand out. But an entire army?! defiantly onto a winning formula I thought?!
The Rein-Forced Platoon: – “No Land Beyond The Volga!”
When building any army for Bolt Action, The first thing you must include is a HQ unit and 2 troop choices which are normally selected from a handful of restricted options. For me, having set the narrative and theme of my list, this task was simple. The only other thing to do now was to find a new army selection from the theatre selection from the new campaign book. (See above)
No Land Beyond The Volga! – The setting / narrative story of this army list suited not only my playing style but the narrative story I’ve created as well. It has everything I wanted in a Stalingrad themed army list which also lent itself towards my previous Soviet Union army collection too. As well as that, this theatre platoon also provides 3 Rules and 1 Special Rule. The special rule being the focus at the moment. “All Soviet Units can be Fanatics @ 3pts per model”… Well, this simply had to happen.
With the backstory I have created, the Naval Warriors of the Soviet Union where amongst the most fearsome of troops. That feared by the Germans, that they gave them the nickname of “Black Death” as they’d stop for nothing to kill any German invader, often fighting almost as if they where possessed with demonic rage in close quarters, hungry for blood.
So for me, that was settled, this was the list I would create and design my army around. So to begin with, I need to fill out the platoon basics.
First Senior Lieutenant with one assistant.
Vladislav himself would be fitting the role here. I gave him a single assistant for 3 reasons.
1) So that they remained a small team which meant that they’re slightly harder to hit
2) So Vladislav selfishly has 2 wounds in game
3) I could have 2 SMG’s. (4 shots or 4 attacks)
For me, Vladislav brings the morale boost that my units will most defiantly need across the field, so getting stuck in combat isn’t something I will be planning on doing with him. But, if he does get caught short or has an opportunity to fire a few shots, at least I have some output both in shooting and combat to help support that. The only thing left to do now was to find a suitable naval type model to represent Vladislav in game. Something that will help to bring the backstory of my army to life whilst giving me a central figure to base my army around…. watch this space!
2x 8 Man Naval Squads with fanatic upgrade.
Finishing the basic army requirements, I took two units of 8 man naval squads. Both armed with rifles and given the Fanatics upgrade. These 2 units will form the absolute back bone of my army so having 2 strong units I can rely on is going to be key as I start to grow this new list. These units are already ‘Tough Fighters’, which both fits the backstory of my army, whilst bringing me 2 attacks each in combat. They all have rifles, so a nice 24″ shooting attack wit 8 dice each round. AND, then they’re now fanatics, which basically means that they’re not going to be running away anytime soon! Again, suiting my theme, the backstory of the naval troops, but also the overall theme of Stalingrad and the hardened battle warn troops fighting no matter the odds.
So to wrap things up nice and simply, I’ve got some hobbying to do!
Next step is to work on my basic platoon and getting them all finished up and ready to step on the battle field. After that point, I will look at expanding my army in a way that suits and reflects my backstory whilst using the theatre platoon to help me build it more accurately.
Thanks for reading! – Follow me to keep up to date on everything and I will catch you on the next blog – TGUK!
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